The map shows the number of acres of preserved farmland as of December 31, 2011.
Source: N.J. Department of Agriculture
New Jersey’s Farmland Preservation program has been successful in making sure the Garden State is not a misnomer for the most densely populated state in the nation, better known for the New Jersey Turnpike and oil refineries.
As of the end of 2011, the program has preserved nearly 200,000 acres of farmland across the state, either by selling the property outright or continuing to own and farm their land but selling the right to develop it. All land put into the program is preserved forever. New Jersey has spent $966 million, or nearly two-thirds of the total $1.5 billion tab to keep the land in farming. Counties and municipalities have kicked in most of the rest.
The average cost to preserve an acre of farmland in the state during the program’s 27-year history has been $7,658. Last year, the average was $12,000 an acre. Those vary widely by county and by municipality, with North Jersey farmland fetching higher prices than acreage in South Jersey.
Hillsdale’s 10 preserved acres cost the most, $332,000, while Elsinboro’s cost the least, $1,339 apiece for 13 acres. A total of 176 municipalities or almost a third of the state have preserved farmland. Upper Freehold in Monmouth County has preserved the most — 8,585 acres.
Click on a municipality to see details about its preserved farmland, including number of properties, total acreage, total cost, cost to the state and per acreage costs. All of the municipalities colored red have no farmland preserved through the state program.